Vanagon – auxiliary gauges

I installed 3 old gauges, VDO Cockpit series, that I had in my old I4 powered ’82 Westy. It was sure easier to install the senders in that engine, no relocation manifold needed. But on the WBX I had to relocate the stock oil pressure senders so I could add an oil temp. sender and an oil press. sender.

I detailed the sender install in this post. That short temp sender (Beck Arnley part# 201-1098) seems to be the right one, the oil temp gauge is indicating pretty well expected readings. Yeah, yeah, I should have set up some boiling water and tested before installation. But I didn’t, so there.

Hey, if anyone has a mind to copy the aluminum manifold for the senders, give more room between each sender. I put them too close together, wrench access not so great.

The gauges have seen some wear and tear, and I replaced the bezels on two of them with bezels from salvaged gauges from an old Volvo 245 turbo. The bezels are crimped on so removing them means prying with a fine edged screwdriver and you can’t really get that back to factory condition. But from a distance it is not really noticable. During the bezel replacement I dropped 2, yes 2, of the glass faces. What a clumsy fool. I had one spare glass, and for the other I cut a circle of Lexan. I repainted the needles with fluorescent orange paint while I had the chance.

For wiring I used some old computer cable, 6 insulated wires in a grey sheath. Each wire was multi-strandded and the sheath was pretty flexible but I bundled the 3 cables in some black heat shrink tubing and the bundle is pretty stiff. I used a heat gun to warm up the bundle so I could manipulate it into the right route. And that route runs right in front of the padded dash to the corner of the instrument panel cover, where I made a rounded notch and the cable makes a 90 degree bend and a little down to end up close to the right hand side dash support strut. The bundle lays down with no glue or clips after the heat gun treatment.

At the sender end, I used a couple of spare wires from the now removed Webasto BBW46 heater wiring to send oil press. and temp signals up front. For the voltmeter signal I connected to  “G5” terminal on the fuse panel (“15” power, ie hot when ign on). For illumination, I tapped into “G8″ (dimmer controlled power) on the fuse panel. To make things a little neater, I used an old terminal strip that has screw connections and used that to connect the gauge wires to the sender wires. This terminal strip was mounted to one of the dash support channels beneath the instrument panel.

The gauge pods were screwed onto a bit of 1/4” aluminum plate, painted black. One day I’ll get some black covers for the screw heads. The plate is glued to the dash with that foam cored double sided tape. That stuff seems to take dash heat better than other tape . The gauges seem to work fine, I didn’t confirm the oil temp or pressure with another method, but the values I see look reasonable.



  1. #1 by Rocko'sA2 on March 23, 2015 - 7:41 pm

    This post just helped me out with a gauge install in my rabbit. Thanks!!

    • #2 by albell on March 23, 2015 - 7:43 pm

      Hey thanks, it is always good to knwow one has helped even a little.


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